Huge show venue covers area of nearly 47 football fields
MILAN — It’s been seven years since I walked this world’s largest motorcycle show,but it seems as though I was never gone.
While much has changed at EICMA, much is the same— the almost overwhelming size, the jammed press conference schedule on the first two days (Tuesday and Wednesday have 21 press conferences) devoted to trade and press representatives. The doors open to the general public on Thursday. By the time this 68th edition of EICMA wraps up on Sunday, Nov. 7, close to 500,000 people will have walked these aisles.
The highlight of the first day, for Italians certainly if not for foreign visitors, was the opening ceremony featuring Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Security seemed especially tight for Berlusconi’s visit this year and made it almost impossible to move through the presentation area in the main administration building that houses EICMA offices and the media room where we do a lot of our work. The media center is set up with computer facilities, and it hosts the drop off area where exhibitors distribute information to the media.
Unlike in past sessions when Italy’s top politicians opened the show with comments related to motorcycles, often discussing transportation issues and plans for boosting Italy’s important motorcycle and bicycle industries, Berlusconi used Tuesday’s event as an opportunity to poke barbs at his political opponents and to talk about general political issues. Recycling, garbage issues in Naples and proposed wire tap legislation didn’t hold much interest for international guests looking for news about motorcycles.